Metrological traceability of measurement data from nano- to small-microplastics for a greener environment and food safety
PlasticTrace aims to address the urgent need for development and harmonisation of methods for the chemical identification, physical characterisation and quantification of released small micro/nanoplastics (SMPs/NPs) in drinking water, food and environmental matrices, as required by the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP).
Two-thirds of the 359 million tonnes of global plastic produced annually is released into the environment. Here it undergoes complex physicochemical processes, reacting and degrading over time.
The overall aim of this project is to develop international metrological capacity that enables the traceable measurement and characterisation of SMPs and NPs in environmental and food samples and the production of suitable reference materials, according to the metrological requirements.
The structure of PlasticTrace consists of four interconnected research WPs (1-4) supported by two non-technical WPs (5, 6) covering all parts of the project from research (1-4), management (6), training (5, dissemination, exploitation and public engagement (5).
The aim of this work package is to develop Micro- and Nanoplastics Reference Materials that mimic real Microplastics particles, with relevant polymer type, shapes, sizes and degradation status, as found in food and in the environment.
The aim of this work package is the development and harmonisation of procedures (including sample preparation) for the characterisation of small Microplastics (100 – 10 µm) (particle number, polymer type, particle mass fraction and surface morphology) in complex food and environmental matrices.
The aim of this work package is to develop sample preparation strategies and measurement methods for small Microplastics (< 10 µm) and Nanoplastics (< 0.1 µm) in food related samples (drinking water and milk).
The European Metrology Network for Safe and Sustainable Food hosted a hybrid training event on micro and nano contaminants in food on 5-6 September 2023, in METAS (Bern-Wabern, Switzerland) and Online.